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Our Mental Health Blogs

The Power of Psychiatric Medications Probably Saved My Life

The Power of Psychiatric Medications Probably Saved My Life

Psychiatric medications saved my life. Before taking psychiatric medication, I experienced constant suicidal ideation due to mental illness. Now I don't.

Have you ever thought about the power of psychiatric medications to save lives? In the past few days, I was let go from one of my jobs and one of my pet rats died unexpectedly. This would be a stressful situation for anyone, but a few years ago this would have had me drunk and suicidal. But, thanks to the power of psychiatric medications, I’m sober and safe. I can deal with life’s curveballs–something I couldn’t do off my medications.

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Caring for Your Mental Health While Traveling

Caring for Your Mental Health While Traveling

I’ve been thinking about caring for your mental health white traveling as I’m writing this on a train, traveling from Montreal to New York City as part of a vacation. While travel within the country is much simpler than travel out of the country, the following vacation tips are good advice for caring for your mental health while traveling.

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Using Emergency Rooms as Mental Health Wards Doesn’t Work

Using Emergency Rooms as Mental Health Wards Doesn’t Work

Sometimes the emergency room becomes a mental health ward. Frequently there are no beds available in psychiatric hospitals so the emergency room is the one place a mental health consumer can be kept relatively safe and under supervision. This has happened to me a few times, and it’s such a problem that USA Today mentioned it in an article series.1 But this is ineffective at best and makes things worse at worst. Here is why using emergency rooms as mental health wards doesn’t work.

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Hospitalization Myths Preventing Mental Illness Treatment

Hospitalization Myths Preventing Mental Illness Treatment

There are three myths about hospitalization that keep people from seeking mental illness treatment when they need it most (Facts About Psychiatric Hospitalization). When I first started having symptoms, I believed all three myths. They kept me from seeking psychiatric treatment for about two years. Ironically, if I’d sought treatment when I first started having symptoms, I might have avoided the first hospitalization. Here are the three myths about hospitalization that keep people from seeking mental illness treatment.

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Three Myths About Involuntary Treatment for Mental Illness

Three Myths About Involuntary Treatment for Mental Illness

There are many myths about involuntary treatment for mental illness (The Realities of Involuntary Treatment). Involuntary treatment is extremely controversial, and that’s an understatement along the lines of saying, “The Arctic is kind of chilly.” Part of the reason it’s so controversial is because we rarely do it for other illnesses. We prefer to let people “die with their rights.” While I’m hesitant to recommend involuntary treatment become standard operating procedure, I can discuss three myths about involuntary treatment.

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Should Mental Health Screenings Be Done in Schools?

Should Mental Health Screenings Be Done in Schools?

Because of my youth, I wonder whether mental health screenings should be done in schools. Much of my childhood was spent being shuttled from doctor to doctor in an effort to figure out what was wrong with me (Why Can Mental Illness Be So Hard to Diagnose?). Everyone agreed there was some kind of mental health condition, but no one could decide on a treatment. So most of my childhood was spent depressed with occasional bouts of psychosis. This led me to ask, “Should mental health screenings be done in schools, just as vision and scoliosis screenings are?”

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Lack of Treatment for Dual Diagnosis with Substance Abuse

Lack of Treatment for Dual Diagnosis with Substance Abuse

There is a serious lack of treatment for dual diagnosis with substance abuse. A dual diagnosis is two co-occurring mental health conditions, in this case, one of which is a substance abuse disorder. The use of substances as a way to cope with psychiatric symptoms is so common there’s a term for it: “self-medicating.” Treatment for dual diagnosis with substance abuse is critical, but few get treatment.

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Are There Alternative Treatments for Schizophrenia?

Are There Alternative Treatments for Schizophrenia?

Are there alternative treatments for schizophrenia? Recently I was diagnosed with liver disease, cause unknown. As I don’t drink and have a reasonably good diet, I suspect the psychiatric medication I am on, which metabolizes in the liver may be the culprit. It’s left me wondering if there are alternative treatments for schizophrenia, and, if so, what are they and how do they work? Note that you should never go off your medication or start an alternative medicine without your doctor’s approval–I’m putting this out only to start a discussion.

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How the Government Can Help People With Mental Health Issues

How the Government Can Help People With Mental Health Issues

The government can help people with mental health issues. I am on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and run a small freelance writing business (How To Get Disability Benefits For Mental Illness). Until recently, I could not get insurance because of my schizophrenia being a pre-existing condition, which forced me to stay on disability so I could get Medicare and Medicaid so I wouldn’t be wiped out again if I were hospitalized. This meant I had to watch my income. So I have plenty of ideas about how the government can help people with mental health issues.

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3 Things Doctors Won’t Tell You About Psychiatric Medications

3 Things Doctors Won’t Tell You About Psychiatric Medications

There are many things doctors won’t tell you about psychiatric medications, but I’m going to focus on three. Recently, one of my readers left a comment detailing lies about psychiatric medications that resonated with me. She highlighted that psychiatric medications have many side effects, have withdrawal symptoms, and reminded me that psychiatric medications are expensive. So here are three things doctors won’t tell you about psychiatric medications.

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